Last night All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook was relegated to the bench for the entire fourth quarter in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 106-10o win over the Dallas Mavericks. Most observers were puzzled as to why Westbrook wasn’t inserted back into the game since he didn’t appear injured. Well, now we have our answer.
A source close to the situation told ESPN that Westbrook had an angry tirade on the bench after a botched play at the end of the third quarter. Apparently Westbrook called a play, his teammates failed to run it properly and it resulted in a turnover. Thunder coach Scott Brooks then removed Westbrook from the game.
Westbrook proceeded to turn around and glare at the court. As Brooks walked past him, Westbrook yelled “I’m trying to run the (expletive) play, man.”
Westbrook continued his tantrum for roughly a minute, saying “Tell them to run the (expletive) play.” That prompted assistant coach Maurice Cheeks consoled him.
To his credit, Westbrook cheered on his teammates in the fourth quarter despite not entering the game. Eric Maynor and James Harden manned the backcourt as the Thunder evened the series at 1-1.
Westbrook finished the night with 18 points, four assists and four turnovers in 28 minutes.
Westbrook has a reputation as being somewhat volatile, but he’s not moody. Usually his outbursts dissipate quickly.